Section 6.4: Creating Rubrics to Evaluate Student Work
“A rubric is a tool used to assess or guide a student’s performance on a given task in a given context given certain standards” (Varvel, 2011,para. 1). Using rubrics is an evaluation approach used to judge the quality of performance (Morrison, Ross, Kemp, 2004). “A rubric is intended to give a more descriptive, holistic characterization of the quality of students’ work” (p. 290). Rubrics place emphasis on explicit descriptions of what a student will do, know, and to what degree. Rubrics can be used to provide feedback regarding various assignments such as case studies, group projects, papers, reflections, participation expectations, presentations, and performances.
A well constructed rubric identifies (Carnegie Mellon, 2001):
- Criteria: the aspects of performance (e.g., argument, evidence, clarity) that will be assessed
- Descriptors: the characteristics associated with each dimension (e.g., argument is demonstrable and original, evidence is diverse and compelling)
- Performance levels: a rating scale that identifies students’ level of mastery within each criterion
Benefits of Rubrics.
Rubrics can offer many benefits; however, there are some disadvantages to using rubrics. Thus, consideration should be used as the online instructor develops a rubric for each activity. Below is a chart outlining advantages and disadvantages of rubrics (Carnegie Mellon, “Benefitting from Rubrics”; ION, “Benefits of a Rubric”):
|Advantages of Using Rubrics|
|Disadvantages of Using Rubrics|
- Creating Rubrics: Formative, Summative Evaluation